H.M.S. “Basset” was an order from the Admiralty for a first of class armed trawler of the “Dog Class” She was designed and built by Henry Robb Shipbuilders with an obvious eye to the coming hostilities that developed into World War II.
Her keel was laid down on the 6th March 1935 and she was launched on 28th September 1935.
She had a displacement of 461 tons with a length overall of 150 feet and beam of 27 feet and 6 inches. She had a top speed of 12 knots and a crew compliment of around 35. Being armed initially with a 4 inch gun for’d and assorted machine guns.
Amongst her many exploits during World War II she managed to rescue a Hurricane pilot during the battle of Britain.
S/L Harold Fenton of No 238 Squadron was injured when he ditched his Hurricane I (P2947) into the Channel off the Isle of Wight on the 8th August 1940 at 13:40hrs near a German observation plane. He was looking for two of his pilots who had been reported missing in the Channel. He was rescued by H.M.S Basset.
H.M.S. “Basset” – an armed trawler, the pioneer of all subsequent trawlers – was the second ship to be built at Leith for the Royal Navy.
(Taken from the story, “Leith Built Ships on War Service”.)